Filling Up Our Family’s Love Tank
9 June 2014
We have been learning from our parenting class Growing Kids God’s Way on the subject The 5 Touch Points of Love. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo taught on what these are and how every person would have a primary love language. These 5 love languages are namely: acts of service, encouraging words, physical touch, gift giving and quality time. Understanding how to decipher love and connect with that individual in their primary love language is meaningful and fulfilling in keeping love vibrant and filling the emotional love tank up.
As a family, we desire to be confident and competent in loving one another. But love could be confusing at best and connecting with your spouse and each individual child in different seasons of life in ways most meaningful to them is not an easy task. Love, though an abstract concept, needs to be translated into tangible actions and demonstrable manners.
This lesson is powerful because life is all about relationships to begin with.God has made us relational beings who will only thrive when we are at peace with both God and men. We will truly blossom when we know deep down that we are loved no matter what. But sometimes love can be tricky because what one understands as love may not be taken as love by another. It is also important to practise speaking love in the other person’s primary love language over and above our own preference and natural inclination.
I still remember the confusing angst in the early days over over the way my husband and I communicated love to each other. He would prefer to play romantic songs and have lengthy chat over a cup of coffee with me (quality time) while i would very much prefer that he stops his piano playing and picks up the vacuum cleaner and actually start cleaning (acts of service). I am also continuously learning how to relax while being with my husband, rather than being busy trying to serve him in many ways.
The 5 love languages is a practical tool to help us love in practical ways. We can still be loving even though we may not feel loving because we can embody our love into the different actions that convey love. Christ demonstrated His love through dying for us, that is an action word, so should we also love not in words but in deeds. Love truly have a face, and everyday we choose to either love or not.
I have been conscious about teaching the concept of kindness and practical love to our children. I wanted to ensure that the kids have a go at practising kindness to each other at home. Realising that no one is born kind, and that it has to be taught, just like with any other virtues, I decided to come up with the Family Love Box.
After toying several days with the idea of what to use (decorated paper plates hung on a string, numbered boxes hooked onto the wall from IKEA), I decided to use what we already have at home – a colourful children’s cabinet with many different shelves – as an actual representation of every person’s love tank. We placed it in the corner of the family’s dining room, where every one gathers every day for family meals and chats.
It is so heartwarming to see the children coming home from school straight to their love boxes to see what surprise may await them there. In a way, these love boxes become a demonstration of the fact that their family loves them and that home is a safe haven where they are accepted and loved. On tough days when our energy are depleted or we are emotionally drained, it is nice even for me to stop by and have a peep and see a love letter posted by my husband a while ago! The children develop healthy self esteem and have a stronger family identity because of this simple practise.
This is my daughter reading a love note from my son. Though his writings are illegible, the intention is clear 🙂 My kids love writing letters and the idea of “mailboxes” where they can put surprise letters or gifts seem to hit off almost immediately.
Once a week we try to get together to clear our love boxes and recount all our blessings through each other! This love boxes are so simple, yet so powerful.